Low-Cost Vibration Power Harvesting for Industrial Wireless Sensors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER86189
Agency Tracking Number: 75353B04-I
Amount: $743,627.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 40c
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0075
Small Business Information
Kcf Technologies, Inc.
119 S. Burrows Street, State College, PA, 16801
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeremy Frank
 (814) 867-4097
Business Contact
 Jeremy Frank
Title: Dr.
Phone: (814) 867-4097
Email: jfrank@kcftech.com
Research Institution
 Pennsylvania State University
 Gary Koopmann
 157 Hammond
University Park, PA, 16802
 (814) 865-2761
 Nonprofit college or university
75353-Low cost, self-powered wireless sensors that never require battery changing or other maintenance are needed for U.S. industrial production lines, in cars and buildings, and power generation systems. Systems of these sensors will enable a revolution in industrial efficiency, safety, and reduced maintenance costs. This project will develop a wireless sensor with an integrated vibration-power-harvesting piezoelectric unit. The key features of the proposed technology are a structurally isolated vibration-based piezoelectric element and an integrated energy-scavenging circuit. The piezoelectric device converts mechanical vibration energy from the structure to electrical energy. The integrated scavenging circuit rectifies and stores the converted electrical energy. Optimal design of both features will maximize power harvesting in the smallest possible package. The device will be fully self-contained, low cost, simple to install, and maintenance free for its usable life. Phase I will develop and demonstrate the power-harvesting module and scavenging circuit. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A turnkey system of wireless sensors, which never needs battery replacement, should provide: (1) improved industrial production efficiency; (2) reduction of total life cycle costs for industrial sensing by permanently eliminating wires and batteries; (3) increased safety and security via greatly expanded sensing of machinery and equipment; (4) expanded sensing and communication functions for many radio-frequency applications with the integrated power-harvesting unit; and (5) reduced industrial pollution via continuous wireless sensing in harsh environments where wired-sensors were not feasible.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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